As EPS, OPS come together, chances likely for AIADMK to join NDA and get berths in union cabinet

The two factions of the AIADMK, led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and former CM O Panneerselvam merged as the political drama in Tamil Nadu finally headed towards conclusion.

Minutes after Palanisamy on Monday sealed the deal for the merger of the two factions of AIADMK, Panneerselvam took oath as the deputy chief minister.

The oath was administered by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who rushed to Chennai earlier in the day. Panneerselvam’s close aide K Pandiarajan was also sworn-in as Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.

Panneerselvam said it was an honour for him to be back in the party fold, and thanked the party cadre for holding it together at the worst of times. Panneerselvam said that despite him being away from the party for six months, the party’s sole aim remained to hold up the legacy of the late party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

Meanwhile, an early reshuffle of the Union Cabinet appears to be on the cards with a united AIADMK expected to join the National Democratic Alliance in the next few days and JD-U having already having decided to join the ruling alliance at the Centre.

Reports said the AIADMK is likely to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and could be offered three berths in the union cabinet including one of cabinet rank.